In the grand scheme of life this decision is about as unimportant as the come…really, it is. But somehow it is something I have been thinking about for months. I attempted to disconnect it twice over the last couple of months, but panicked and reconnected them within hours. Panicked might be a strong word…but it was in reality, a tough decision for a social media/web addict as myself. Yes, I fear that my online habits are bordering on addiction (and so are yours) and must be brought back under control. Sad…I know.
Cynthia Ware was the first person I had talked about this with a while ago…she disconnected them. Then I talked with John Saddington…he too has them disconnected. I saw Justin Wise disconnected his this week as well. I could list you tons more who disconnected them (or never even connected them) and tons more who still do it…great people like Greg Atkinson and Tony Steward.
But here is why I did it.
- It floods people’s Facebook Home Page/News Feed. If there are 100’s of people or over a 1,000 in your network (and your friends numbers are reciprocal), then this isn’t as big of a deal. Your status update may not even be seen. But lots of new people on Facebook and if one Twitters a lot, well, then you just might flood their news feed.
- Noise. If I send out 25 tweets, the likelihood of someone responding/commenting on them on Facebook goes down. On the other hand, updating your Facebook status and letting it sit there for most of the day, or at least several hours tends to invite more commenters I have found. This is the “boy who cried wolf” or “bystander syndrome.” Or that’s how I think of it. You keep tweeting, lots of people are going to stand by and watch until they hardly recognize your tweets anymore.
- Two different communities. Twitter in my opinion is centered more around conversation, and Facebook is place to share photos, news, video, etc, etc. That doesn’t lend itself well to the Twitter symbols (i.e. RT, @, shortened words, etc.)
- Twitter allows you to ignore Facebook. Because I never had to go on Facebook to update my status I tended to ignore a lot of what was going on there (funny thing is, people probably thought I was on Facebook all day, when in reality it was like every other day for about 30 minutes). I missed out on great opportunities to be a part of that online community, and share and contribute with them, rather than just taking and wanting them to comment on my ever changing status. Saying it another way…I could not leverage the true value of the Facebook community when I was taking a Twitter shortcut.
- More ways to update now. If I really want to update Facebook without having to go on Facebook, or from my Twitter there are many ways to do that now. I can just send a message with hellotxt which I use. Or brightkite which I also use. Or why not use the #fb in your Twitter update which will post on Facebook (which I have not used yet, but heard a lot about)
I have been on Facebook for over 4 years and Twitter for about 15 months. Not once has anyone ever complained to me about the number of my status updates (at least not to me personally). I know some people defriended me and others unfollowed me, but rarely was anything ever said to me. In fact, I thought Twitter was a great way to bring the two communities together and I often got great comments on Facebook via Twitter.
But I’ve just been rethinking my online philosophy. It is a good decision for me. It may or may not be a good decision for you. I can understand both points of view.
As we spend more and more time online, and in more and more forums, using more and more tools, we are going to have to develop some sort of coherent philsophy…each and every one of us. If we don’t, we are bound to be taken over. This was my first step in rethinking how I do things online.
- What are you doing? Connecting? Disconnecting?
- Why or why not?
- Are there differences in the Facebook and Twitter communities? What are they?